In what may be the most premature celebration since U.S. President George W. Bush stood on the flight deck of the USS Abraham Lincoln in front of a “Mission Accomplished” banner, CFL Commissioner and part-time garden gnome Jeffrey L. Orridge feted his first 90 days in office.  Matters got off to a rocky start when Orridge appeared to assume that this was his farewell address and he began to insult various league officials who he claimed “needed to have their lazy fat ugly asses kicked”, afterwhich he dashed away from the podium claiming he was relieved not to have to “spend one more putrid minute with you losers.  So long suckers!”

After Orridge was advised that he was contractually obligated to remain in office for several more years— and decorum was restored—the CFL Commissioner commenced a rambling diatribe only occasionally directed at an increasingly dumbfounded audience of CFL officials, members of the sports media waiting for the promised free buffet to open, and a confused group of giggling Japanese tourists looking for a McDonald’s.  Highlights included:

  • The Commissioner opening with a list of the first 90 days’ most important announcements, including Shaw as the first presenting sponsor of the Grey Cup, an extension to the TSN/RDS broadcast deal, and the name-change of the Edmonton Eskimos to the Edmonton Redskins.
  • Orridge then announced that he had awarded expansion franchises to Shreveport (again), Vienna (Austria) and “George Bell’s purple butt.” Although impressed with the late-80s Blue Jays reference, surprised CFL officials demanded that Orridge immediately rescind his decision. Orridge declined, claiming that he had already spent the deposits.
  • In the aftermath of Orridge’s much-publicized cross-Canada tour of all CFL cities, he stated his most valuable lesson was that Canadian Tire has the cleanest washrooms.
  • Orridge remarked that he learned very quickly why the Canadian Football League had to hire an African-American Commissioner: “the talent up here in Canada is for shit.”
  • When asked what his favourite new rule was, Orridge said that he thought that 3-downs had really opened up the game.  However, he added that the league would be instituting further changes at the mid-point of the season. Specifically, defenders would no longer be permitted to even look at the receivers after five yards, and if any defensive players engaged in trash-talking, they would be required to address offensive players as “bossman”, “sir” or “Your Royal Highness of Most Righteous Superiority.”
  • Orridge indicated that one of the biggest surprises in his first 90 days was learning that not only did the Ottawa Rough Riders fold back in the 90s, but that the Toronto Argonauts did not.
  • Upon his first visit to Mosaic Stadium, he refused to believe that he was not the victim of a practical joke and that a professional football team actually played in the facility. He said he felt vindicated following the Riders’ late-game collapse.
  • When the Commissioner took credit for “breaking the colour barrier” in the CFL, an incredulous press pointed out that African-Americans had been playing in the league for decades. Orridge responded by claiming he was referring to Mexicans.
  • After being questioned about what CFL fans could look forward to in his next 90 days, Orridge indicated that the new Star Wars film was coming out and Donald Trump appeared headed for the White House. When the question was clarified, the Commissioner shrugged and stated he was “all out of ideas. Free balloons, maybe?”

Orridge ended his address by claiming to be most proud of the fact that he was the second African-American to lead a professional sports league after Gary Bettman of the NHL.   When told Mr. Bettman was not African-American, he spent ten minutes googling Gary Bettman until finally announcing that his search had been “inconclusive”.  He then requested that the remaining audience attendees “stick around to stack the chairs and tidy up” because the Super 8 promised him 5% back if he cleaned up the basement before the Model Train Show arrived.

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